by direction of General Smith we were instructed to hold the position obtained during the night and immediately prepare for a combined assault the following morning, with the simple command from General Smith, "Take it, sir!" During the night the men rested upon their arms, and for the first time built fires, which enabled them to rest more comfortably.
Aroused at an early hour Sunday, the 16th, we partook of a scanty breakfast. Called to your headquarters, I was directed to order two regiments to the relief of Colonel Lauman, two additional regiments to their support a little retired, holding one regiment in reserve. The Seventh Regiment having expended more ammunition the day previous than any of the others, having an average of only nine rounds to the man, and being compelled to await the arrival of ammunition with which to fill the boxes, was selected as the reserve. About the time of the arrival of the ammunition, whilst the men were filling their boxes, the woods around were made to ring with loud and enthusiastic cheers from the troops under the command of Colonel Lauman and myself, announcing the unconditional surrender of Fort Donelson, giving us uninterrupted ingress into and peaceful possession of its entire rebel contents. A full and complete statement of the number of killed, wounded, and missing has in a previous report been supplied you.*
In accordance with your order to allude to and particularize those deserving of commendation, it affords me much pleasure to mention the following officers, viz: Colonel Bane and Adjutant Brown, of the Fiftieth Illinois; Colonel Smith and staff, of the Fifty-second Indiana; Colonel Woods and Major Brodtbeck, Twelfth Iowa, and Lieutenant-Colonel Babcock and Major Rowett, Captain Monroe, Company B; Captain Ward, Company A; Captain Lawyer, Company C, and Lieutenant Johnson, commanding Company I (Captain Mendell having been killed in the first engagement), of the Seventh Illinois Volunteers, and the following gentlemen of the medical staff, viz: Dr. R. L. Metcalf, surgeon, and James Hamilton, assistant surgeon, Seventh Illinois; Dr. Finley, assistant surgeon of the Twelfth Iowa, and Dr. Brown, assistant surgeon of the Thirteenth Missouri Volunteers, who were constantly upon the field, regardless of danger and fatigue. Too high praise and commendation cannot be bestowed upon the medical staff of my command. Being almost entirely destitute of staff officers myself, I cannot refrain from an expression of both gratitude and approbation for the bravery and conduct exhibited by Lieutenant B. F. Smith, acting assistant adjutant-general of the Third Brigade, and Private John C. Brand, composing my entire staff. Being repeatedly called upon to act in the same capacity myself rendered the labors necessary for the proper command of the brigade more arduous than upon any previous occasion.
There are doubtless many others deserving of especial mention at my hand for gallant conduct, but, being almost wholly unacquainted with four regiments of my command, I am unable to render to them the praise merited. Truth and justice require me to say that the entire command behaved in a manner deserving of approbation, cheerfully enduring the fatigue and exposure attendant upon the most inclement weather known in this latitude.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade, Second Division.
Brigadier General C. F. SMITH,
Commanding Second Division, District West Tennessee, U. S. Army.
* See p. 168.